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Another Quick Update on my Mom 02/15/17

rcdeman
Posts: 263
Joined: Aug 2016

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!

It's been so busy for me and I haven't had much time to post anything on the forums. I do sometimes check the boards occasionally but just haven't had the energy to post.

Just wanted to give you all an update on my mom's status. She's halfway through her chemo treatments and just started her external radiation treatment (both upper and lower pelvic area) this last Thursday. This will go on for 5 days a week followed by two weeks of brachytherapy. Then she will get the three chemo treatments after that. So not quite halfway through but almost there. So far, she seems to be doing relatively well. She hasn't had any appetite or vomitting issues, and other than slight discomfort after her radiation sessions, she's quite well. We will be doing a halfway PET/CT scan later in January to check her current diagnosis, so I will update you guys with more details then.

Anyway, I wanted to thank everyone here for their support and well-wishes and hope you are all doing well.

Love,
Rebecca

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2901
Joined: Mar 2013

Thank you, Rebecca.  I was told by my chemo nurse getting the chemo done for the back three on schedule could be tough because of the radiation.  Tell you mother she might want to try to get more protein in her diet.  The radiation to the pelvis - your hips have and make a lot of blood cells - so after that treatment it might need help.  Milk, cheese, meat, nuts, yogurt, you get the hint.  

Spend your time doing what you are doing - we will always be here. 

Mmpeterson
Posts: 124
Joined: Sep 2016

Happy to hear your mom is doing well.  I pray she continues to improve and her scan will have good news.  Prayers and hugs, Maryanne

beccabtown's picture
beccabtown
Posts: 234
Joined: May 2016

I'm glad to hear your mom is doing so well. She must be very tough!

I agree with NoTime about trying to get a lot of protein (and iron) before the last rounds of chemo. Everyone kept warning me about fatigue after radiation but I didn't really listen, then suddenly I found I could barely walk from one room to another. I think I also let myself get very dehydrated and then that was exacerbated by the fact that I was sleeping so much I couldn't get enough liquids.

A nurse at the radiation center told me about Ensure Enlive, a new type of Ensure with extra protein. I'm still trying to drink one or two of those a day.

I hope your mom is able to avoid these side effects and continues to do well.

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

So good of you to post- have been wondering how your mama was doing.  Totally understand the time thing and you have a lot on your plate- just know we are here and continuing to think about you and pray for both you and your mama as you head for the finish line- we'll be cheering you on for sure!  (((HUGS)))

Kvdyson's picture
Kvdyson
Posts: 789
Joined: Jan 2016

Thanks for the update, Rebecca! Glad to hear that your mom is handling the treatments well. Please give her our best for the New Year! Kim

Editgrl's picture
Editgrl
Posts: 903
Joined: Jun 2015

Good to hear that she has been tolerating treatment so well.  Fingers crossed that that continues.  Thinking of you both.

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

Thank you for the update. Glad to hear that your mom is doing relatively good with her treatment And is able to tolerate it.  Hugs and prayers, Lou Ann

rcdeman
Posts: 263
Joined: Aug 2016

Hi all,

I just wanted to give another quick update on my mom's condition. She has finished the first part of her external radiation treatment geared towards her lower pelvic region (which was 5 days a week for 5 weeks) Due to many various miscommunications with her radiation oncologists, she started her radiation early and prior to the CT/PET scan she had planned to see her progress. Now she is going through the second part of her treatment which is external radiation aimed towards her higher abdominal region (where they saw metastases to her lymph nodes after her second surgery). This will be another 5 days per week for five weeks.

Meanwhile, fortunately she has kept her appetite. Unfortunately, she is still suffering from neuropathy in her feet, and she has bouts of diarrhea and stomach/abdominal/pelvic pain as well as general fatigue and unwellness, all which I'm assuming are not inescapable when undergoing these treatments. She's lost some weight and her WBC count is consistently below average and still going down. She has to get a Neupogen shot later this week.

That being said, does anyone have any advice to give her on how she can keep her WBC levels at an acceptable level? I've been trying to get her to eat more protein, but there's only so much she can eat.

Thanks all and thank you for all your support!
Rebecca

Kvdyson's picture
Kvdyson
Posts: 789
Joined: Jan 2016

Rebecca, I don't have any advice on the WBC but I took a daily probiotic during external radiation and it really helped me manage the stomach related side-effects. I forget the brand but I do recall that it had to be refrigerated after opening. Maybe you can ask her medical team if taking it might help her?

rcdeman
Posts: 263
Joined: Aug 2016

Thanks Kim, I've gotten her on a probiotic (one that needs to be refrigerated) but she is still have diarrhea and stomach issues due to the radiation. She's taking some Loperamide to try to help, and it has some effectiveness though not completely.

I'm quite concerned that her WBCs show no sign of stability and just keeps decreasing. I know it happens to a lot of women who are undergoing treatment, but as her WBCs are lower than average even when she was healthy, her WBC levels now are lower than lower than average. I'm praying she doesn't get sick during this time!

Thanks and will update you again soon! Thanks for your support!
Rebecca

CheeseQueen57's picture
CheeseQueen57
Posts: 936
Joined: Feb 2016

I took Culturelle probiotic and had no diarrhea with radiation. I did have the upper abdomen area radiated too because positive paraorotic lymph node. I had pretty bad nausea the whole time. Be sure to take zofran or something before each treatment. 

rcdeman
Posts: 263
Joined: Aug 2016

Thanks so much! My mom doesn't like taking too many pills and is quite resistant when I ask her to take multiple pills. But I think the Zofran and probiotic are pretty important.

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

They might have some ideas.   I did not do radiation but my white counts did fall and have stayed low so I googled how to get white counts higher and this is one site I looked at   http://renegadehealth.com/blog/2013/12/30/5-ways-to-increase-white-blood-cell-count-naturally of course before doing anything outside of the box you should run it by your Dr.  

Continued prayers for you and your mom- appreciate the update and so sorry it's this tough!!!  (((HUGS)))

rcdeman
Posts: 263
Joined: Aug 2016

Thanks for this, Nellasing. Appreciate it!

DrienneB's picture
DrienneB
Posts: 186
Joined: Aug 2013

Hi Rebecca,

So glad your mother is chugging along in treatment and doing relatively well! My blood count was bad throughout chemo as well, regardless of the Neulasta shots I got after each chemoterapy session. I, like your mom, was low before I started. I did not want to halt treatment, so had people praying, and tried to protect myself in every way that I thought to. I had lots of low numbers in my blood counts, but I was able to stay the course.

I did I did have a friend making bone marrow broth for me, and I drank it when I could stand it. (I think he had roasted too many carrots as part of his recipe, and the sweetness factor began to make me nausesous.) The broth was recommended by the oncology dietician at the hospital where I got chemo.

Also, bone marrow is quite the rage as an appetizer at trendy restaurants. It's often served with toasted bread. I remember it from the days of eating pot-roasts growing up. Anyway, I throw that out there as a dietary consideration.

Glad your mother is doing well, considering.

-j

Editgrl's picture
Editgrl
Posts: 903
Joined: Jun 2015

Though my WBC wasn't horribly low during chemo, there were a few times when it got low enough to be worrisome.  Culled from various sites and posts, I ate a lot of salmon, citrus, potatoes, and garlic.  Don't know if that's what helped keep the counts high enough to keep on my chemo schedule, but it couldn't have hurt.

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